PBIS Insures Fraud Risk

Water, wind and fire are not the only hazards a lender needs to worry about these days. Now, fraud has been added to the perils that some lenders are insuring against.

PBIS Insurance Services, an affiliate of the Prieston Group, has entered into an agreement with GreenPoint Mortgage Funding to cover Alt-A credit quality loans purchased through GreenPoint's correspondent lending channel against breaches of representations and warranties related to fraud.

GreenPoint, the 15th largest residential mortgage lender in the country, is providing the PointGuard service at no cost to its correspondents.

With this automatic coverage in place, GreenPoint's correspondents will benefit from a significantly reduced risk of loan repurchases. GreenPoint also benefits by providing a unique benefit to its correspondents, as well as through enhanced risk management.

"PBIS Insurance created this unique insurance product for correspondent lenders," said Arthur Prieston, president of the firm. "As one of the more innovative and forward- looking companies in the mortgage business, GreenPoint is the first investor to understand the potential of this type of universal protection for its correspondents and to proactively offer it on a widespread basis."

Insuring against fraud minimizes the changes that a lender will be forced to repurchase loans under recourse arrangements.

PBIS Insurance is the exclusive managing agent for the repurchase insurance, which is underwritten by SAFECO, an A- plus rated insurer with assets of over $30 billion. To date, more than $200 billion of loans have been insured through the lender's representation and warranty insurance.

"GreenPoint wants to be the Alt-A investor of choice for correspondent lenders," said S.A. Ibrahim, president and CEO of GreenPoint Mortgage. "By drastically reducing a lender's repurchase risk - without any cost to them or additional approvals - we have given correspondent lenders another strong incentive to sell loans to us."

Approximately 10% of all loan applications, 25% of foreclosures and 45% to 50% of early payment defaults include some form of fraud or misrepresentation, according to Mr. Prieston. On average, losses on fraudulent loans equal 37% of the loan amount, he said.

In addition to PBIS Insurance, the Prieston Group provides due diligence, surveillance, quality control, lender rating and training services to lenders through LoanCert, and legal services related to loss mitigation and mortgage fraud through Lanahan & Reilley. Mr. Prieston is senior partner and chairman of the fraud practice at Lanahan & Reilley.

The Prieston Group provides fraud prevention, protection and related legal services to mortgage lenders and investors through its three business units. The Prieston Group and its affiliated companies have performed fraud-related due diligence and legal services for more than 300 lenders nationwide.

Based in San Rafael, Calif., the Prieston Group also maintains offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Richmond, Va.

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